Glenn Lehrer's Cosmic Obelisk collection is a departure from what we may have come to expect from Glenn. Always wishing to innovate and experiment with the movement of colour and light, this collection stacks hued gemstones atop a Quartz obelisk and allows the colours to flow through the gems and play with each other. The fascinating story of the creation of Cosmic Obelisk goes all the way back to 1975...
We have Quartz to thank for Glenn getting into the gemstone industry in the first place. When Glenn was an artist in search of a muse in the 1970s, his brother handed him a Quartz crystal and Glenn had an immediate physical and emotional connection with the stone. It changed the direction of his life. After his artistic epiphany, one of the first pieces Glenn ever carved after buying some tools and teaching himself some basic techniques was a long thin Quartz stone. The result was a carving that helped Glenn realise that he was able to find intense beauty in Mother Nature’s crystals, which set him off on the path to release this beauty from as many gems as he could. As Glenn hit his stride and continued to ply his trade into the 1980s the mystical and spiritual side of gemstone crystals took off in a big way and Glenn continued to experiment with Quartz.
What Is Cosmic Obelisk?
Lehrer Cosmic Obelisk designs are long six-sided Quartz crystals, with laminated coloured gemstones at the top of them. The facets at the top and bottom of the design are cut at a very precise angle so they display the hue from the coloured stones. To the observer, the colour appears to have jumped up and down the length of the Quartz and is being transmitted outwards. The effect is phenomenal. Traditionally, obelisks were four-sided, but Glenn chose six for this collection as it represents the hexagonal crystal structure of the gem.
Obelisks were common in Ancient Egypt, and usually took the form of a tapering column with a pyramid on the top. They generally represented the sun god Ra, and flanked the entrances to temples and important buildings in pairs. Symbolically, they represent the pinnacle of humanity's intelligence, knowledge and evolution, and our need to reach for the stars. The number six also represents the philosophy of "as above, so below" which neatly fits with the transferal of light between the top and bottom of the gem, and the energy of the different colours this can create.
Glenn used Quartz for these pieces not only because of his personal connection to the gem but also because this high-end quality of optical Quartz is so incredibly clear. It is thus perfect for transferring, transmitting and amplifying the light and colour within, not unlike how fibre-optic cables can transfer data across large distances. Glenn only chooses top clarity, high quality pieces of Quartz, which represent the top 1% to 2% of all Quartz mined. Quartz is also heavily associated with the technology age and our ability to connect with people quickly and easily, no matter where they are on the globe. This ability to transmit is very much at the centre of Glenn's thinking in his Cosmic Obelisk designs. The collection was initially available as earrings and pendants but Glenn has also created a small collection of rings that follow the concept.
About Cosmic Obelisk
Glenn’s inspiration for this new collection came when in a moment of reflection he went into his vault and started looking through some pieces he’d created many years ago. He found some similar designs to the Cosmic Obelisk that he’d created in 1990, when he first started to experiment with colour transfer between gemstones and the concept of using gemstones together to change the meaning of their colour. The designs struck Glenn as being particularly timeless, and with his sixth anniversary at Gemporia on the horizon he had the idea to celebrate the occasion with something completely outside the box.
On top of this, Glenn's wife was still wearing her obelisk piece from the early 90s, which featured a Rubellite. The design seemed to have matured over the years. There was a big rush on Quartz crystals in the 80s and 90s and it felt to Glenn like they were everywhere. Now, Glenn's design seemed very classy, a little more refined, and visually striking too. Glenn's concept for the Cosmic Obelisk was simply ahead of its time, but as Glenn himself says, "What goes around, comes around". When Glenn took the idea to Gemporia founder Steve Bennett he was immediately fascinated by the concept and we were very quickly able to get our master gem cutters up to speed on the techniques involved.
The metalwork on each Cosmic Obelisk jewellery piece has been specifically designed to frame each piece from one side to another. Any metalwork over the front or back would have masked the effect of the gemstone lamination and the different layers of colour. The layers of gemstones at the top of the piece are framed by two rows of metalwork, and the whole design has been carefully planned to let as much light into the piece as possible to let the colours shine through and interact with each other. Each finished piece cuts a striking shape whether hanging around your neck, dangling from your ears, or sparkling away on your hand.
Cutting these obelisk shapes is a precision task. The critical facets are the ones at each end of the piece. If they're cut at too shallow an angle, the light from the coloured gems will pass straight through the top and bottom of the piece. If the angle is too deep, you won’t see any of the colour from the front. By cutting the facets at exactly the right angle, you see the maximum possible reflection and amplification of light coming through from the coloured stones.
Each Comic Obelisk design has different colours laminated at the top of the Quartz piece. Glenn calls the effect this creates the “vibration” of colour as every colour is essentially a modification of white light. The white light is entering the gem and passing through the coloured stones and vibrating with the colours that it picks up on its journey. Each colour has a deeper meaning too. Blue has been associated with clear communication, green with emotional balance and orange with passion and creativity. Glenn talks about how on a spiritual level the clear Quartz amplifies these qualities as the colours pass through each design.
The nature of creating each Cosmic Obelisk means that every time we have a collection to launch, the number of pieces will be very limited. There is a huge buzz around Glenn's latest innovation and the first collection sold out in record time. Glenn and our jewellery workshop team are always working to get more designs to us. Glenn has always been a big advocate of the beauty in simplicity, even though there are very complex things going on behind the scenes. Cosmic Obelisk has once again shown that Glenn is unequalled in his vision and skill when creating wonderful new gemstone masterpieces.
When you purchase a Lehrer design for the first time, while stocks last, we'll send you a complimentary copy of Glenn's autobiography 'In Quest of the Indescribable', a story with just as many fascinating facets as his gemstone creations. To own one of Glenn Lehrer’s fine creations is to own a museum quality work of art, a piece to be treasured as an heirloom for future generations.
Discover the Cosmic Obelisk collection here
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